Tuesday, September 4, 2007

TARA Contest Results

As I scan over other writers' blogs, I've noticed many posting their contest results. I mentioned in the previous post I did well in the TARA (Tampa Area Romance Authors) contest this summer. I entered three different catergories: one suspense, two contemporary , and one historical. The judges called for the first chapter (plus prologue if available) and a one-page, unjudged synopsis. I'm happy to report that in the Mechanics and Presentation areas I scored the highest possible in every entry! Here's how I did on everything else:

DENIED ORIGIN: romantic suspense

Judge #1: Conflict was terrific! Hooks were great--wanting the reader to keep reading! Well done! Dialogue was used efficiently and tags were done nicely... Great showing [of style and pacing]--loved the description. I would definitely read more of this story. I loved the setting! Your writing is fast-paced, but not too fast to jerk you from the story. All in all--it was great! Good job!

Judge #2: [Hero's] character is developed very effectively... Great plot and conflict. Prologue was very effective... Good use of dialogue... Very interesting premise with all the ingredients for success. With a little more work on pacing and developing [heroine's] character in the first chapter, I'm confident you will sell this book! Good luck!

LOVE AMONG THE RUINS: historical romance

Judge #1: A tried and true plot in a unique time and place! Author writes beautiful descriptions and sets scenes well. I love stories set in Italy! Brava for picking such a unique setting and a historical backdrop of great importance not to be forgotten. I see your heart in it so please keep at it! Best wishes!

Judge #2: The heroine is interesting and the hero intriguing. The plot will carry a lengthy story. The set-up of the hero's meet with the heroine is excellent. [Dialogue]: Very well done--which is why more would even be better. The fighters' conversation...was excellent. You chose an interesting era with unique setting. Good luck!

FOX & HOUND: contemporary romance

Judge #1: [Hero] seems well-developed. The conflict is pretty well stated as she sent him to jail and he is ging after her. Plot could develop nicely. Even in French your dialogue is good; it is natural and easy flow. I really like the conversation between [hero] and [friend]. They do come across as old friends. [Mechanics]: Nice. I didn't see any problems. [Presentation]: Very professional. Thank you. I enjoyed reading this. I wish I could read more of it.

Judge #2: You did a nice job with the characters. I really like [friend]. I thought his personality stayed consistent throughout the story. Conflict you got. [Hero] has every reason to want to get back at the woman who stole "his" diamond. Not only did she cause him to spend time in jail, but a whole host of her friends/relatives did Todd's family wrong. Good job here. The plot was good and interesting. Going from Paris to homebody [friend] was a nice contrast that added to the story. [Mechanics]: God job here. [Presentation]: Manuscript looked great. This story sounds fascinating. I'd love to read more.

HEART ROOTS: contemporary romance

Judge #1: Well written. Dialogue works well. Seems natural during the dinnerscene and flashback scene. Well written with lovely descriptions. This is a wonderful start to what could be a great story. Good luck and keep writing!

Judge #2: Characters are well-drawn and engage our empathy. Since this is a family saga there is more than one heroine and more than on hero. POV is used well and reveals the characters to the readers. Good start to story. There is a hint of conflict among the sisters and between oldest sister and her husband. Scenes flow well from narrative to dialogue to backstory. Conflict between sisters should sustain plot. Good dialogue with effective tags. It fits the time period and engages our interest. Opening hook is good. [Presentation]: Manuscript is neat and clean. The writing is beautiful. Depictions of nature are superb. It was a real pleasure to read the chapters. Synopsis is well-written and concise. Good luck with it!

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